Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.

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The article and comments were great information to have before deciding how to go about getting a painting job done. I think the important point is that there are several key choices (who to do the work; color, sheen, quality, of paint; how many coats; amount of prep/repairs to be done and by whom, how long the job will take, provisions for changes, how detailed the contract needs to be; advanced deposit/progress payments/final payment; final inspection, etc.) that need to be made and it requires advanced research and planning in order to become well enough informed to make the right choices. Then it requires spending sufficient time to check materials and inspect the quality of the work while it is on-going, raher than waiting to do it all at the end. President Reagan's philosophy of "Trust, but verify." applies.
Meet the pros. Call in at least three different contractors for your job. (Friends and family are good reference sources.) And be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you’ll know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The longer he takes, the more realistic the estimate you’ll get. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house.
What is color? Color or colour can be defined as the “visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, green, blue and others.” In other words, color is really what the eye perceives. Color is created by the spectrum of light – which is the distribution of light power vs. wavelength – combining with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors in the eye. We associate color categories and color’s physical specifications with materials, objects, and light sources; this is based on the color’s physical property, i.e., reflection, light absorption, or emission spectra. The emission spectra of a chemical element or compound is defined by the frequencies at which the element’s or compound’s atoms are emitted when returned to a lower energy rate. When a color space is defined, colors can thus be recognized numerically by their coordinates. Read The Six Colors of the Eiffel Tower
State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.
If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs.

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First off, the picture on the top THAT IS A HOME OWNERS PAINT JOB. If you here a school kid or your neighbor, this is what you get. I was a painting contractor for the better part of 40 years and never saw a PAINTER (even the worst painter) leave a mess like that. Maybe the electrician or the carpenter but, that is not something a painter could even do if they tried.


Painters tend to establish a relationship with a particular store or brand of paint. If a painter is reluctant to use another product, it is fair to ask why. A potential contractor needs to be able to have facts to back-up why they use a certain brand. If you are being steered toward a low-cost product, find a different painting company. Most professionals do not use paint from the big box chain stores for many reasons and they know that you never get more than you pay for when it comes to paint.
Stacee, I agree with you completely, from adding water to latex paint to taking whites from job to job. This article makes all painters look like scam artists. You get what you pay for people! There is no denying that there are scammers out there but in my experience, most painters are under paid any ways so if you want a good paint job, you are going to pay for it. If you just want a new color on your walls real quick, and that is what you pay for then that's what you pay for people. Most painters get the crap end of the stick and are left with making an entire house look good when it took a lot more than a painter to build the house in the first place. Good painters do not get enough credit. They are not all scammers who are cutting corners!
Keep an eye on the new cans as they're being brought in. Make sure they look new and don't have paint in the rim of the can. If it's a five-gallon bucket, check to see whether the lid is still sealed on with the plastic strip. The only time it's acceptable to mix water in the paint is when you're using a deep or ultra deep base paint to reduce its stickiness, which is rare with new paint technology. Dark primary colors are composed almost entirely of tint that makes it very hard to work with without adding water.

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Pressure washing, scraping, stripping, sanding–it’s dirty, hard work. In fact, greater than fifty percent of the time spent working on a home’s exterior finish should be devoted to surface preparation. This kind of preparation is particularly important here in New England where we experience such a wide range of weather. Historic homes (100-400 years old) are especially vulnerable because their thicker layers of paint become impermeable and too brittle to flex with seasonal changes of humidity and temperature.

Satin - Has a slight sheen as seen in Figure 6. This is our standard paint sheen unless specified otherwise. Satin is more durable and easier to clean than a Flat paint. It may highlight rotted or swollen areas in the siding more than a Flat paint. Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. can repair these areas prior to repainting. The house in Figure 6 is finished with Sherwin Williams SuperPaint in a Satin finish, which gives the house a brilliant sheen!

how much do home painters cost

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